NAME: Shakhtar Donetsk – Manchester City
DATE: September 18, 2019
TIME: 10:00 EAT
VENUE: Metalist Stadium.
Manchester City make the long trip to Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on the back of a surprise 3-2 defeat to Norwich City on Saturday evening.
Guardiola now finds himself needing to find a much-needed solution at the back due to lack of stability in the defensive third.
Guardiola visit to Ukraine may be regarded as an opportunity to try a fresh system away from the intensity of England’s first tier.
Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero already having a dozen strikes between them in the league. Despite the travelling time involved, Guardiola may also welcome facing Shakhtar for a third season in succession.City registered a routine 3-0 success last year, but Shakhtar may pose a stronger test this time around having put together seven victories on the bounce on the domestic front.
Luis Castro‘s team only prevailed by the odd goal in seven against Zorya Luhansk after a come back from two goal adrift before Junior Moraes‘s last-minute winner.
The forward has now netted seven times in as many outings since the end of July, with midfielder Marlos also chipping in with five efforts of his own.
Shakhtar have started their domestic campaign with seven successive victories and could pose a threat to the Premier League champions.
Guardiola will almost certainly hand a recall to Kevin De Bruyne, who was only named among the substitutes for the defeat at Carrow Road.
The City boss may also look to get Joao Cancelo involved after his switch from Juventus, with the Portugal international potentially playing at right wing-back if Kyle Walker is moved in-field.
Benjamin Mendy could also come into contention after Guardiola spoke of the left-back’s progress from a knee injury ahead of facing the Canaries.
Shakhtar head coach Castro may keep changes to a minimum, although Yevhen Konoplyanka may be preferred to Mateus Martins on the right-hand side of midfield.
Shakhtar Donetsk possible starting lineup: Pyatov; Bolbat, Krivtsov, Matviyenko, Ismaily; Stepanenko, Alan; Konoplyanka, Marlos, Taison; Moraes
Manchester City possible starting lineup: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi; Cancelo, Rodri, De Bruyne, Zinchenko; B.Silva, Sterling, Aguero